Apple is paying its employees to listen to Siri’s recorded conversations, according to The Guardian report. An employee at the company revealed that workers listen to accidental recordings of users’ personal lives, including confidential medical appointments and even sex.
According to Apple, only 1% of Siri’s recorded conversations are heard. The purpose is to evaluate if activation of the assistant was accidental or deliberate, if the request was something Siri could help and if your response was appropriate.
According to the official heard by the newspaper, who declined to reveal his identity, many recordings are accidentally started without the user knowing that Siri is activated. Often, a buzz is enough to activate the voice assistant, he explains, and expose private dialogues.
The company, however, denies that it is possible to identify users through recordings. “A small part of Siri’s commands are analyzed to improve the assistant and dictation function. The person’s requests are not associated with the user’s Apple ID. Siri’s responses are reviewed in secure facilities and all reviewers are under an obligation to adhere to Apple’s strict confidentiality requirements, ”the company explained to The Guardian.
Everyone is listening
It’s not just Apple that listens to personal assistant recordings. Amazon and Google also have employees listening to what users say, under the guise of enhancing Alexa and Google Assistant functionality, respectively.
Although the three companies claim to remain concerned about their users’ privacy, they have only confirmed that they have employees listening to recordings after some of these employees have spoken anonymously to the press. In the case of Google, for example, there was even talk data leakage in the Netherlands.
“At Apple, we believe that privacy is a fundamental right,” Tim Cook told a privacy event in 2018. However, of the three virtual assistants cited, he is the only one who has no mechanisms for the user to ask their recordings are not used for other purposes, according to The Guardian.
The information came to light after one of these unnamed employees revealed the work to The Guardian. According to the source, recorded content is provided to employees along with location, contact details and application data used by the handset owner.
The source of the report states that it has decided to disclose the details of the Apple centers, as it considers that personal information is in danger.
// // Google PixelBook 2 possibly just passed the FCC
Google’s hardware-making partner Quanta has filed with the FCC (the US telecom agency similar to our Anatel) for certification of a device that could be a new generation of Google Pixelbook, a convertible Chromebook that has been released in 2017.
According to Google’s confirmation, the new Pixel notebook is on its way, but will not be announced before the company’s standard hardware event scheduled for October.
Several factors point out that a new FCC filing is Google’s next notebook, which is confidential for 180 days, which is a long time to keep things a secret. One is the deposit from Quanta, the company that made the original Pixelbook. Another is the FCC label using the same font seen on other Pixel devices.
This may mean that the company has either changed its product nomenclature, or Quanta is building another yet unknown product. The odds of it being a Pixel 4 are low, as Quanta does not make Google smartphones, but makes notebooks and tablets.
Google recently announced that it has suspended internal efforts to develop two tablets. But according to Rick Osterloh, who heads the company’s hardware division, the team will be “fully focused on laptop development going forward.”
Launched in 2017, Pixelbook is a hybrid Chromebook, which can also be used as a tablet. Equipped with a Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage, and the Chrome OS operating system, it sells in the US for $ 979.
It is also worth noting that the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate identification numbers follow another line, more similar to the beginning of the supposed Atlas registration, being respectively HFSC0A and HFSC1A. And that made everyone quite confused. The FCC application, however, shows a pattern very similar to that of the Pixel Slate with a difference to the internal WiFi and Bluetooth chip – in this case the Intel Wireless-AC 9260.
In the end, Google may have standardized this ID to further relate the Pixelbook line to the company’s smartphones, but there is also the possibility that it is a new device still unknown to the public. Since the registration has a confidentiality term, we were unable to access images from the device, so only time will tell what Google has up its sleeve.
There is a possibility that Google has chosen to overhaul the internal codes of its products to create a new standard, but there is no guarantee that this is a real company plan.
Nonetheless, the main suspicion is not for the production of Pixel 4, but for the production of the successor of Pixelbook, codenamed Atlas.
There is still little information about the product and what Google should present at its Made by Google event for October this year, where the company will announce new hardware and this may also include a new Pixelbook model.